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Articles on Unions

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Walt Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee claiming that communists once ‘took over’ his studio. Bettmann/Getty Images

Disney hasn’t found itself in this much trouble since 1941

The custodians of one of Hollywood’s most reliable cash machines have been careful to sidestep political minefields that might remind customers of a realm outside the Magic Kingdom.
Amazon has historically opposed trade union recognition by engaging in union suppression practices, like resisting trade union recognition through coercion. (Shutterstock)

If Amazon wants to be the ‘Earth’s best employer’ it needs to listen to employees

Amazon can become the Earth’s best employer, but this must involve democratizing the workplace, recognizing the legitimate right of employees to organize and cooperating with labour representatives.
Staten Island’s Amazon distribution centre union organizer Chris Smalls celebrates with union members after getting the voting results to unionize their warehouse on April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Why did Amazon workers win the fight to form a union in Staten Island but not in Alberta?

Staten Island’s Amazon union has proven that one of the most powerful anti-union companies in North America can be unionized.
A group of Greek migrants at a picnic in the outskirts of Melbourne in 1936. La Trobe Greek Archives

A brief (political) history of Australian picnics

Far from just a gathering with friends, Australian picnics have long been associated with the political – from trade unions to feminist resistance.
Louisiana residents object to mask mandates at a state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting in August 2021. AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte

Watch for these conflicts over education in 2022

Short-term disputes are really symptoms of deeper divisions in the US over who deserves academic opportunity, and how to present the nation’s history.
Thousands of teachers from the Peel District School Board hold a one-day strike in Mississauga, Ont., in February 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The advantages of unionization are obvious, so why don’t more workers join unions?

Wanting a union and securing a union are two very different things. That’s because there are enduring obstacles to unionization that make it incredibly difficult for workers to unionize.
T.C. (Tommy) Douglas, shown in this 1961 photo being held up by supporters, after being chosen leader of the newly form New Democratic Party. He is held by trade unionist Claude Jodoin (left), national CCF president David Lewis and British Labour leader Hugh Gaitshell. (CP PHOTO)

The NDP turns 60: It’s never truly been the political arm of organized labour

The political muscle of unions that helped to launch the NDP in was never that strong in the first place. Even worse for the party, it’s atrophied considerably over the course of the last 60 years.
Nearly 1,000 workers at this Smithfield Foods pork-processing plant in South Dakota contracted COVID-19 between mid-March and mid-April 2020. Kerem Yucel / AFP via Getty Images

Meatpacking plants have been deadly COVID-19 hot spots – but policies that encourage workers to show up sick are legal

Thousands of workers at meat- and poultry-processing plants have contracted COVID-19, and hundreds have died. A legal scholar recommends ways to make their jobs safer.

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